Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, My Dear Students,
Today I have great pleasure to participate in the ground breaking ceremony to start the construction of the Information Center and the seventh anniversary of the “Angkor Hospital for Children” of the “Friends without Bounder” organization in Siem Reap province.
I would like to sincerely thank the “Friends without Bounder” organization for implementing cooperation programme in order to respond to the Royal Government’s “Rectangular Strategy” and the needs of Cambodians aiming at enhancing well-being and reducing poverty of our people. I also would like to express my appreciation to the “Angkor Hospital for Children” for many successful achievements, for the past years, contributing to the health care and human resource development in the health sector.
I strongly believe that the Information Center that will be constructed here will lead to new output contributing to development of Cambodian’s human capital in Health Sector, including training of referral hospitals and health centers staffs to provide basic health care services.
Indeed, Angkor Hospital for Children has fulfilled its mission in helping many of our Cambodians since 1999 to the end of 2005; many patients visited hospital for treatment in average around 200 to 300 children per day. At the same time, as a result of supports and assistances from many generous individual and humanitarian organizations both local and international, this hospital is able to send our Cambodian children abroad for the following treatments:
– 48 children with sever heart diseases were sent for surgeries and treatments at the Adventist Hospital in Malaysia.
– One patient, a victim of land mine, and another one with face disease were sent for surgeries and treatments in the United States of America.
– 17 patients with heart diseases were sent to Singapore for surgeries and treatment at the Hospital for Children and Women; and 5 patients with face diseases of which 2 of them were sent to Wajiro Hospital in Japan and the remaining 3 were sent to Singaporean’s Hospital for Children and Women. Total expenditure of “Angkor Hospital for Children” on health care services from 1999 to 2005 amounted to 6,313,844 USD.
Other than providing medical treatment, the “Angkor Hospital for Children” has also focused on providing health care education and medical care training programmes to its staffs and some following medical staffs of the Royal Government:
– Training of hospital staffs, training of nurses and doctors within and outside the country.
– Conducting leadership and management training for hospital staffs.
– Conducting training for staffs from the government health centers.
In particular, in 2005 the “Angkor Hospital for Children” has provided training on health care to nurse students from Health Training Center in Battambong, Kompong Cham, Steng Treng, Kompot regions and Phnom Penh Technical School of Medical Care. Up to date, the “Angkor Hospital for Children” still continues to provide health education training programmes.
Indeed, health care of our population, in particular mothers and children are the priority matter in social sector development of the Royal Government. Thus, we all shall strengthen our responsibility to ensure that every child is in good health with strong body, intelligence and comprehensive knowledge and lives in happiness and dignity in families and the society.
To achieve this goal, we do not only take care children by fighting against diseases and preventing them from all forms of vulnerability, child exploitation and drug use, but also to combat against poverty through investing in them by creating a better environment, which will turn them into real resource, pillar of the nation and successor to develop the country in all sectors, leading Cambodia toward prosperity in the future.
Indeed, since 7th January 1979 the Royal Government of Cambodia has exerted its utmost efforts in rebuilding and developing socio-economic infrastructure to provide care service, education and health service to the people, children and adults by establishing orphanages, schools at all levels, referential hospitals, health centers, especially the implementation of child vaccination against 6 diseases, nutrition program, malaria treatment and HIV/ Aids epidemic prevention etc. The government is really proud when WHO recognizes that Cambodia successfully eliminates polio.
At the same time, the Royal Government also increases budget for social sector, particularly health and education aiming at improving child and maternity care service and allocates budget to schools through implementing priority action program in order to upgrade education quality and efficiency as the means to achieve the implementation of poverty reduction strategy.
The framework of the Royal Government’s health strategy clearly states about priorities that must be considered and successfully implemented, including basic health care service to people, administrative and financial decentralization, human resource development, elimination of epidemic, especially Aids, and strengthening of health information system. Indeed, if we compare with health strategic goals, we have achieved enormously, but not to our satisfactory. We realize that we still face with many difficulties and shortages, although the Ministry of Health has financed to districts and communes, the actual results are not up to the level that we want to get. On the other hand, staff assignment to fulfill their tasks at provinces has not responded to the needs in those areas. The health sector still faces with resource shortage, even though in the last five yeas, the Royal Government has increased the budget for health sector three folds. Poor families still get limited access to health services due to high cost of private services. Furthermore, I have observed that we still use unqualified and expired drugs. Some hospitals still lack drugs while some others receive expired drugs, and some store them over the expiration date. For these issues, I suggest that the Ministry of Health should re-examine to find out the causes of late supply of unqualified and expired drugs and inappropriate facilities for hospitals need.
In general, we still have many tasks to complete. I would like to appeal to the Ministry of Health and all hospitals continue to work hard and to reduce to the maximum on inactive activities that cause negative implication to public health service delivery. I would also like to appeal to all health staffs to firmly hold high morality and medical code of conduct, aiming at achieving 2003-2007 health strategy issued by the government.
Recently, the head of “Friends without Border” has met and raised a concern with me about the future of “Angkor Hospital for Children” location. I have already solved this concern by asking the Ministry of Health to sign with “Friends without Border” to continue to help us for 50 yeas more on the same location without exchanging or buying. Indeed, while the government lacks of budget, all forms of participation from partners are important, particularly “ Friends without Border”, which has closely cooperated with the Ministry of Health in training our health officials and providing internship to our students with skillful physicians, sufficient facilities, specific program and support from famous universities in the USA, Japan and France as well. Indeed, education and health training are not simple; we need to think first of human life and quality. There must be both theory learned at schools and practical implementation at hospitals that have appropriate locations, sufficient facilities, and skillful lecturers. Therefore, the medical students cannot get bachelor degree with unspecific program and ahead of academic year.
I would like, once again, to express my profound thank to all ministries, institutions, development partners, civil societies, NGOs, who have supported the health sector in Cambodia. I also thank to generous people for their generosities, particularlyMr. Kenro Ichi, the head of “Friends without Border”, who has supported the “Angkor Hospital for Children” of “Friends without Border”.
Finally, I wish Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, who are here with five gems of Buddhist blessing.
On this happy occasion, I would like to announce the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of Information Center in the “Angkor Hospital for Children” from now on.